All the girls are still moulting in differing amounts. To my amazement Speckles and Emerald are still dropping a few feathers. They seem to have been dropping feathers for such a long time this year. They both stopped laying after the first week in June and moulted quickly to start with but have continued dropping a couple of feathers each a day.
Apricot laid two eggs in the first four days of September and hasn’t laid since. Seramas are supposed to moult a few feathers at a time all year round but Apricot has had quite a heavy moult. She has had a mass of pin feathers on her head and has been dropping long wing and tail feathers.
Freckles has always been the best layer of the little girls and throughout October she has continued to lay every other day. Dandelion and Cinnamon laid until the end of September and have each laid two eggs during this last week.
Dandelion’s first egg was in the chicken shed first thing in the morning and was unbroken but her second egg was also in the chicken shed in the morning and was, once more, thin shelled and broken. I have resumed the mash at weekends with crushed egg shells but she hasn’t laid one since so I don’t know if it will help her.
This morning Apricot had a loose wing feather sticking out on each side. I went to get my camera and by the time I returned one feather had dropped out. I took a photo just before the other feather dropped out.
She still has pins on her head but they are opening now into fluffy little feathers.
In the afternoon all the little girls gathered together in the small shelter. It’s the first time I have seen them all in there and I went for my camera once more. When I returned Speckles had joined them. It’s the first time I have seen five girls in a shelter.
It was lovely to see them all gathered in here. When we first came up with the shelter idea I wasn’t sure if the girls would use them so I am pleased that they seem to like them. I think the shelters will be really useful in the winter during cold or windy weather.
The ladder and high, branch, perches remain the little girls’ favourite spots but recently they have discovered all the little, lower, perches too.
I have deepened up the shavings in the chicken shed as it’s got colder and it has been good to see the girls snuggling up together apart from Freckles but even she is perching closer to the door now.
In other news I have been checking and clearing any mouse evidence from under the little coop nest boxes every morning. The droppings have fallen from six to eight to only three or four over the last couple of nights. This is the opposite of what I would have expected with colder nights.
I now wonder if there had been two mice and perhaps one has demised leaving one lone mouse. There were so few droppings that I originally thought that there was only one mouse anyway but it’s odd that the droppings have reduced to such a small number. To be honest even from one lone mouse I would expect more evidence but I have thoroughly searched and that seems to be the only evidence.
I am not complaining though as the less evidence of a mouse the better. It will only be another two or three weeks before I can remove the food bowls over night and then there will be nothing to attract them in.